Designs Law and Practice

Subject LAWS70261 (2014)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2014.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 7 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2014.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: The total class time is between 24 and 26 hours.
Total Time Commitment: Not available
Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:

Applicants without legal qualifications should note that subjects are offered in the discipline of law at an advanced graduate level. While every effort will be made to meet the needs of students trained in other fields, concessions will not be made in the general level of instruction or assessment. Most subjects assume the knowledge usually acquired in a degree in law (LLB, JD or equivalent). Applicants should note that admission to some subjects in the Melbourne Law Masters will be dependent upon the individual applicant’s educational background and professional experience.

Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

The Melbourne Law Masters welcomes applications from students with disabilities. The inherent academic requirements for study in the Melbourne Law Masters are:

  • The ability to attend a minimum of 75% of classes and actively engage in the analysis and critique of complex materials and debate;
  • The ability to read, analyse and comprehend complex written legal materials and complex interdisciplinary materials;
  • The ability to clearly and independently communicate in writing a knowledge and application of legal principles and interdisciplinary materials and to critically evaluate these;
  • The ability to clearly and independently communicate orally a knowledge and application of legal principles and interdisciplinary materials and critically evaluate these;
  • The ability to work independently and as a part of a group;
  • The ability to present orally and in writing legal analysis to a professional standard.

Students who feel their disability will inhibit them from meeting these inherent academic requirements are encouraged to contact the Disability Liaison Unit:


For more information, contact the Melbourne Law Masters office.

Phone: +61 3 8344 6190

Subject Overview:

Design plays a critical role in the production of goods. Adequate protection of designs is important in order to encourage the creation of innovative products and thus enhance the Australian economy. This subject is primarily concerned with the laws in Australia that protect designs. The subject will cover the registered regimes for protecting designs under the Designs Act 2003 (Cth) and parts of the Designs Act 1906 (Cth) and will also cover the protection of designs as original artistic works under the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). The lecturer is a well-known intellectual property law academic and barrister.

Principal topics will include:

  • Registrable designs: definition of design and registrability requirements
  • Application and registration procedures and Designs Office practice
  • Duration of registration and removal procedures
  • Registration, examination, certification and infringement
  • Defences to, and remedies for, infringement
  • Validity and infringement of designs registered under the Designs Act 1906 (Cth)
  • Ownerships, transfer and exploitation of design rights
  • Rectification and correction of the Register
  • Artistic works protected by copyright and the designs/copyright overlap
  • International conventions and the protection of designs.
Learning Outcomes:

A student who has successfully completed this subject should:

  • Understand and be able to apply the principles of law relating to the registration and enforcement of designs
  • Understand the practice relating to the registration and exploitation of designs
  • Have the ability to apply for, prosecute and maintain the registration of a design
  • Understand and be able to apply the principles of law relating to the protection of designs by copyright
  • Appreciate other means of protecting designs
  • Understand the principles of the international protection of designs.

Take-home examination (100%) (1 – 6 October)

Prescribed Texts:

Core subject materials will be provided free of charge to all students. Some subjects require further texts to be purchased. Details regarding any prescribed texts will be provided prior to the commencement of the subject.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Links to further information:

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